Mayor of Derry and Strabane expresses sadness over death of Derry’s first female mayor

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Elisha McCallion (left) and the first ever female mayor of Derry, Marlene Jefferson, who died on Monday.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Elisha McCallion (left) and the first ever female mayor of Derry, Marlene Jefferson, who died on Monday.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council has expressed her sadness over the death of former Derry mayor, Marlene Jefferson.

Mrs. Jefferson, who was in her eighties when she died, became Derry’s first female mayor when she was elected in June 1980.

Sinn Fein councillor, Elisha McCallion, became the first ever mayor of the new Derry and Strabane district council area on April 1, 2015.

Mrs. McCallion said, whilst she did not know Mrs. Jefferson she had heard of how formidable a woman the former Ulster Unionist Party politician had been.

“While I personally did not know Marlene, I have heard many of my council colleagues talking fondly of her and how she was kind and generous and very passionate about her city and its people,” said Derry and Strabane’s First Citizen.

“She was the first female mayor of the city, and she can take pride in being responsible for setting down the stepping stones for other female politicians in the city to follow in her footsteps.

“I would like to extend my sincere condolences to her family and friends at this sad time,” she added.